Recently, NASA’s MAVEN (Mars Orbiter and Volatile Evolution) spacecraft went into orbit around Mars. MAVEN was designed to enable scientists to studyMars’ upper atmosphere. MAVEN’s goal is to allow us to better understand the history of the Martian atmosphere, how the climate has changed over time, and how that has influenced the evolution of the surface and the potential habitability of the planet.
MAVEN was launched from Cape Canaveral in November 2013. It takes years and hundreds of millions of dollars to build a spacecraft like this, so nothing is left to chance. MAVEN had to clear a lot of hurdles before it made it to the launch pad.
The test protocols for a spacecraft like this are meticulously designed to simulate every stage of the mission. It is far better to discover a problem in the factory than on the launch pad (or post-launch!), so these tests allow the engineers to diagnose and fix any hardware or software problems that would have otherwise come up during the business end of the mission.
Click on this link to find out more about some of those tests.
The yawning gap between the dearly held ideal of the self-made man and the difficulty of actually improving your station in America, particularly if you’re poor, made me wonder about the utility of the rags-to-riches story. Is it a healthy myth that inspires us to aim high? Or is it more like a mass delusion keeping us from confronting the fact that poor Americans tend to remain poor Americans, regardless of how hard they work?
Thirteen Ways of Looking at Greg Maddux is not really a story about Greg Maddux. Or sports. It’s about Jeremy Collins’ friend Jason Kenney, demons, self-control, determination, friendship, competitiveness, and loss.
Before their feats are etched in history, the world’s would-be record breakers must impress one woman who tirelessly travels the globe with a stopwatch, a tape measure, and an indefatigable appreciation for eccentric human accomplishment.
For decades, philosophers and scientists have debated the process by which we pay attention to things, based on cognitive models of the mind. But, in the view of many modern psychologists and neurobiologists, the “mind” is not some nonmaterial and exotic essence separate from the body. All questions about the mind must ultimately be answered by studies of physical cells, explained in terms of the detailed workings of the more than eighty billion neurons in the brain. At this level, the question is: How do neurons signal to one another and to a cognitive command center that they have something important to say?
As constant use of social media has become the new normal, however, people have started challenging the continued relevance of Dunbar’s number: Isn’t it easier to have more friends when we have Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to help us to cultivate and maintain them?
Eric Betzig, Stefan W. Hell and William E. Moerner are awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2014 for their work that bought optical microscopy into the nano dimension (a.k.a. Nanascopy). This enables researchers to watch individual molecules in action.
With nanoscopy scientists can observe viruses, proteins and molecules smaller than 0.0000002 metres. #nobelprize2014#Chemistry
People need oxygen to stay alive: this is common knowledge. We breathe air into our lungs, where oxygen is absorbed into our blood. The blood, in turn, is pumped by the heart to all parts of our body, where the oxygen is delivered to our cells to be used in the…